Floersch tops her best F3 result with 4th in budapest
Sophia Floersch had a positive weekend in the Formula Regional European Championship at the Hungaroring, as she finished 7th, 4th and 6th.
After the convincing collective testing at the Hungarian racetrack, Sophia Floersch carried her pace through the free practice sessions, as the German lady finished FP1 in 3rd position, one tenth off the pacesetter David Schumacher. From the second practice though, the three Prema drivers claimed again their commanding leadership and Floersch ended P7.
With Vesti starting from pole in all three races, Sophia had a great getaway from 5th on the grid of Saturday’s race, tried the outside line at turn one but was forced on the astroturf and gave up some positions in the frantic action of the first corner.
While the Premas regained their 1-2-3, Floersch found herself stuck behind Siebert and Fraga. David Schumacher, who started from 4th, had a slow start and on the second lap dived on the inside at turn one, surprising Floersch with a late move that gained him P6.
From this moment on, the race was defined by the three-way battle between Fraga, Schumacher and Floersch, with the German drivers struggling to find a way around the Brazilian on a notoriously tough track to pass.
On lap 4, Sharon Scolari had a spin at the back at the field but was able to continue.
One lap later, Floersch running a bit wide at turn 4 allowed Guzman to attempt an attack on the Van Amersfoort driver, but after he had cut the chicane positions were restored.
Vesti and Fittipaldi started to run away from the rest of the pack, with the Danish driver always in command of the race.
Floersch got closer again to the duo in front following a couple of fast laps. The 18-year old seemed to have the speed to go by, but struggled to find the space to attempt a move.
With 12 minutes left on the clock, Sophia had a look at the inside of turn one on Schumacher, his compatriot closing the door. With Floersch putting pressure on the US Racing driver, Fraga temporarily enjoyed a bit more breathing space. The VAR driver tried a similar move a couple of laps later, but with the same outcome.
With three laps to go, Vesti had definitely checked out from Fittipaldi. Schumacher tried the most convincing attempt on Fraga so far, but the Brazilian managed to hold on to 5th. Determined to join the action, Sophia tried to take advantage of the fight in front of her but ran wide at turn 4 again.
She proved once again that she had the pace for a top 5 by quickly closing the gap again to Schumacher, but simply had no opportunities to make a move stick.
Vesti took the victory after 19 laps, leading Fittipaldi and Caldwell in an all-Prema 1-2-3.
Floersch crossed the line in P7, after a tense race but that ultimately was decided after the first corner of the first lap.
"Race 1 wasn't special. Had a really good launch and was already fighting for P3 but got pushed onto the green astro and lost a lot of traction and positions after turn one." - commented Floersch after the race.
From 3rd on the grid, Floersch had way too much wheelspin at the start of the second race, allowing Caldwell and Schumacher to get past at the first corner.
David Schumacher's sudden loss of grip due to the astroturf granted Sophia the opportunity to move up to 4th, overtaking her compatriot at turn 2. First of the non-Prema cars, the girl from Munich followed like a shadow Caldwell for the whole race and gained a safe gap on Schumacher.
VAR teammate Alexandre Bardinon had a contact with Tom Beckhäuser at the back of the grid and had to retire. Sharon Scolari avoided the incident in front of her and moved up to eleventh.
Vesti and Fittipaldi pulled away once again, while Caldwell was not able to break away from Floersch, as the German could see a podium finish at close range.
Scolari spun at turn one but rejoined soon after.
The second race on the Hungarian circuit went by relatively uneventful and Vesti took another win to replicate the exact same race 1 podium for the Prema powerhouse.
From the 5th place on the grid, Floersch had again another not-perfect getaway that costed her two positions, as she was demoted to 7th. On the second lap of the race, the neverending battle between the two German drivers recurred and Schumacher moved up one place.
When The US Racing driver attacked Guzman at turn one, Sophia managed to take advantage from the battle and retook P7 from Schumacher.
Sharon Scolari brought herself up to the tenth place when Lappalainen pitted for a technical issue and Siebert slowed down visibly, coming to a stop at the pit entry. The Swiss girl was then forced to pit on lap 9 for troubles to the car #7.
On lap 5, the Guzman-Floersch-Schumacher battle heated up again, with Sophia trying her way around Guzman with no success. The three drivers, separated by 0.4 of a second, will end another frustrating race holding their positions.
The Prema trio dominated the third weekend's race as well with a 1-2-3, Vesti leading Caldwell and Fittipaldi.
Vesti's supremacy wasn't stopped by a broken suspension in the last lap of the race, as the Danish driver somehow managed to cross the line in first with a front-right wheel collapsed.
Floersch finished P6, half a second behind Raul Guzman and completed an overall satisfying weekend, topping her best ever F3 result with the fourth place in the morning race.
"Hungaroring was positive but still some stuff to fix and improve" - wrote Floersch through her social media feeds.
In Sophia's words:
“Hungaroring was positive but still some stuff to fix and improve”
Ph credits: ACI Sport